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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

As much as you should know that the swallowing difficulties are common and often pass -- you should also know that the anxiety is common, and will pass.

I went through this, too -- I worried about the swallowing. But I also worried about every other thing. I worried that I had an injury in my thoracic spine because it hurt there more than in my neck after the surgery; I worried I had MS because I had tingling and occasional numbness in my feet as well as my arms; I worried I was having heart problems because my chest hurt. You name it, I panicked over it. I worried that I shouldn't have had the surgery, that I'd done this huge and horrible and permanent thing to my body and would never fully recover and couldn't take it back.

I would never try to minimize your completely legitimate concerns about your swallowing problems, but I worried as much about my emotional problems as I did about anything else when I was at your stage of recovery. So I wanted to at least say that if the anxiety attacks themselves are worrying you, it's normal. There's an actual emotional curve that most people I've seen here go through, and it seems as real and physical to me as the aches and pains and whatnot. I'm told that surgery is so physically traumatic to your body that you're flooded with hormones and neurotransmitters during the process, and that your emotional regulators are completely out of whack for a long time after the surgery as a result.

That line in the pamphlets that says "some depression after surgery is normal" and that your recovery "depends as much on a positive outlook" as anything else? That line should read "you will probably be incredibly f****d up emotionally for a very long time after surgery. this too shall pass."

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